Everything you need to know about the Facebook Canvas Ad Format | Publications

Online advertising with immersive ad formats

Advertising online is becoming more and more about reaching out to the potential customer in a creative and innovative way. Using impactful ad formats in combination with the right creative content, will help you reach your target audience and of course your objectives. This article will give you a brief introduction on the immersive canvas ad format on Facebook. As people decide themselves when they consume the content, the essential question is how can an advertiser stop the user in the Facebook News Feed and influence this decision? By using impactful and relevant formats the user might actually pause the scrolling for a couple of seconds and pay attention to your ad. The canvas ad format was launched serving as a highly impactful, fullscreen mobile experience with the possibility of using all ad formats. It is up to the advertiser to combine videos, photos, 360 content and call-to-action buttons. The user on the other hand, can swipe, tilt and zoom through this custom created ad experience.

What is a Facebook Canvas Ad?

A Facebook Canvas ad is a full-screen ad format designed and created for mobile devices. The ad itselfs looks a lot like any other ad format available on Facebook, however, the landing page works a bit different. 
Instead of leaving the Facebook environment, the Facebook Canvas Ad landing page is created within the Facebook environment. It is therefore fastly loaded, and provides the same user experience on the canvas as on Facebook. Certainly for advertisers without a mobile website, this is a big win.
The canvas ad, which is basically a mini-website within the Facebook environment is customizable to your will, you can add images, texts, video's, products, etc. 

All things you need to know about the canvas

  1. Canvas ads are an ideal format for your mobile campaigns as it is mobile-only. Of course, not being able to use this on desktop is not a great loss as we know that around 80% on Facebook is on their mobile device.
  2. The ad itself has similar looks as a simple link post, but when clicking to open, the user enters a totally different format. When the canvas opens, you can create different components to showcase different elements within that one campaign. All components can be put together in order to create an interactive, interesting and entertaining canvas ad. The ad format can include different interactive or multimedia components such as video, images, product showcases…

  3. People scrolling through their Facebook feed are not always keen on leaving the platform to take a look on the advertiser’s website. Using the canvas ad, people do not have to enter a different online environment and you as an advertiser can create the whole story you want them to capture. It can be compared with a mini-version of your website with the content linked to that campaign.

  4. Without a doubt, a new ad format asks for new metrics. Currently the existing metrics for canvas ads are following:

    • Canvas view time: measures the average time that people spend in the canvas ad.

    • Canvas view percentage: gives you the average percentage of the canvas that people saw.

    • Canvas component time percentage is the average percentage of the time spent while viewing every component. Important to notice is that when boosting a canvas post, this component will be counted as one and thus this metric will not be available.

  5. At last, it is interesting to measure how many people click on the arrow in order to open the canvas ad. Unfortunately Facebook did not provide a dedicated metric for this. With a simple subtraction of outbound clicks (number of clicks on links that take people off Facebook-properties) with link clicks (number of clicks on ad links on or off Facebook-properties) you have an estimation of this metric.

Conclusion: testing out canvas ads to create more storytelling in the feed

Standing out in the news feeds comes with thumb-stopping ad formats, of which the canvas is definitely one of those. It not only les you reach people with certain content, it also educates people, gives more information, showcases different products and so on. Even though it takes more time to start from scratch, it is definitely worth when observing the amount of time people engage with your brand.

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